Random Acts of Kindness week in February may be new awareness week to many of us, but the premise of showing kindness and compassion to ourselves or others isn’t.

Acts of kindness are beneficial to both giver and receiver and is a gift that costs nothing other than a little bit of time and small amount of imagination.

Some well-known benefits of kindness are:

  1. Recipients of kindness can feel loved.
  2. Whether you are recipient or giver or merely just a witness you can feel the benefits of an increase in oxytocin. Oxytocin is commonly called the “love hormone” and this helps to lower blood pressure, improve overall heart health, increase self-esteem and optimism.
  3. Kindness can increase the feeling of strength and energy due to helping others.
  4. Kindness can also make you feel calmer.
  5. It reduces the impact of depression by producing serotonin, which is commonly known as the “feel-good” chemical that provides healing and calming feelings.
  6. Kindness increases the feelings of self-worth.
  7. Research shows us that being kind increases oxytocin, a ‘carioprotective’ hormone which helps protect the heart by lowing blood pressure.
  8. For those that volunteer their time or money for charitable causes, often have fewer aches and pains.
  9. Kindness decreases pain, by generating endorphins (the brain’s natural painkiller).
  10. The Harvard Business School found that people were happier buying something for someone else, rather than themselves.
  11. Stress levels are improved as people’s levels of cortisol are reduced, which has the added benefit of slowing the impact of aging.
  12. Anxiety, the University of British Columbia did a study on a group of highly anxious individuals in which they performed at least 6 acts of kindness a week. After one month, there was a significant increase in positive moods, relationship satisfaction and a decrease in social avoidance in socially anxious individuals.
  13. Research shows  us that kindness boosts the levels of an important immune system antibody – even just by watching someone being kind to someone else.

Add some Random Acts of Kindness this week or this month, by doing or saying something kind to someone at home, work or in your  community.